A strikingly stunning photo series is going viral for its regal representation of black beauty. Symone Seven is all things melanin magic; she’s an ATL based photographer who embodies all things black and beautiful from her natural coils and kinks to her beautiful brown skin. She’s also a Photoshop QUEEN whose skillset shines in artful composites often inspired by celebs with a twist.
That’s not all however, Symone is also the talent behind that regal representation series where she transforms into iconic Disney princesses.
Symone first started her series by transforming herself into Cinderella, complete with the ice blue gown and slippers, using a photo she took in her living room with natural light. The result which was released on April 3 is worthy of a children’s book or a poster to let little black girls know that they too can be princesses.
Symone’s since spoken with GMA about her prolific photo series and she told them that Brandy’s Cinderella musical inspired her. She also announced plans to expand the series inspired by the fairytale royalty.
“This photo series began with me wanting to pay homage to one of my childhood favorites which were Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ‘Cinderella’ musical featuring Brandy, Whitney Houston and a culturally diverse cast,” Seven told “Good Morning America.” “I would request to watch that movie daily as my mom intentionally raised me in a culturally enriched environment.”
“As an adult, I found that my experience was uncommon, and I wanted to create those positive images for others that I was afforded. So here we are with four princesses down and eight more to go.”
So far Symone’s transformed into Cinderalla, Jazmine from “Aladdin”, Ariel from “The Little Mermaid”, Maleficent, Princess Tiana from “The Princess and the Frog” and Rapunzel who “let down her hair” in box braids.
Symone is so skilled at creating art through photos that she’s teaching Photoshop classes ranging from the “basics” to “skin frequency separation for skin retouching” on her SymoneSeven.com website.
Aren’t these photos stunning???
Learn more about Symone Seven and see more of her fairytale princess pics on the flip.
Symone told GMA that the process to make one picture can take approximately eight hours to complete.
“One photo composite takes Seven approximately eight hours to complete from start to finish. She wakes up close to 6:00 a.m. to prepare and set up in her home studio. After she dresses up, it takes nearly 20 minutes to perfect her pose as she uses her mobile phone as a remote-monitor connected to her camera’s wifi. Seven has strobe lights at her home studio but prefers to use natural sunlight in her living room.
For this project, Seven found Disney live-action posters or posters with similar themes and once she made photo selects, she inserted herself on the posters using Photoshop. From there, she edits for several hours and marries everything together using color grading.”
Eight hours is a loooooong time for one picture— it looks like it’s absolutely worth it, though!
This wasn’t a spur of the moment idea for Symone, instead, she said she wanted to put these pics together for over a year and initially had Mulan in mind.
“I had a full wardrobe planned of modern melanin princesses and I wanted to drop this series around the March release of Mulan’s live-action remake,” she said.
However, as the coronavirus pandemic, puts a hold on the 2020 release of “Mulan,” Seven had to develop a fresh take on her imagery.
“If I was going to do it, I had to do it in a way that only I could with the help of my … photography and Photoshop” and her “cultural” background, she said.
Symone is enjoying seeing her pics shared on social media and her follower count increasing (she’s currently at over 33K) but she told GMA that what’s most gratifying is the response people have had to this regal representation.
“The numbers are great but nothing compares to seeing the real stories people share with me in response,” said Seven. “I’ve had children get so excited to see a princess that looks like them — with brown skin and hair kinky like theirs.”
“It’s amazing to see black women embrace the representation, older women wishing they saw this growing up, minorities in other countries proud to be brown, parents thankful that their daughters can see this, childless women wanting to show their future children, and other races appreciating the aesthetic of it,” said Seven.
Seeing the impact she’s making makes Symone emotional.
“I’ve cried happy tears every day since I’ve debuted this series, and I’m only halfway through,” said Symone.
Below is just one of several videos of a little black girl reacting to seeing a black princess.
Wouldn’t it be amazing to see movie posters out like this all the time??? Amazing work, Symone!